JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local group of women will join people across the country Monday morning in what is being called the "National Rally for Change."
The rally was organized by ImprovingBirth.org and according to the website, rallies are set for more than a hundred different U.S. cities. The site planned the rallies to raise awareness of what they call the "alarmingly high rates" of cesarean sections and labor inductions.
According to the World Health Organization, the United States is one of ten countries with the highest number of preterm births.
The Centers for Disease Control just released a report in August detailing birth statistics for the U.S. in 2010. That year, the cesarean section rate declined for the first time since 1996, the report said. However, it was still recorded at 32.8 percent and the c-section rate had increased 60 percent from 1996 to 2009.
Preterm births were also down in 2010, according to the CDC report. The preterm birth rate was 11.99 percent, which accounts for infants delivered before 37 weeks. That rate rose 20 percent between 1990 and 2006, but has been falling for the last four years.
According to the CDC report, "The recent decline in births delivered at 34-38 weeks may be associated with efforts to reduce "elective" deliveries (i.e., deliveries in the absence of medical or obstetrical indications) prior to 39 weeks; the upward trend from 1990-2006 in deliveries at less 39 weeks has been related, in part, to more frequent use of induction of labor and cesarean delivery."
In Florida, 13.3 percent of births in 2010 were preterm.
The report mentioned preterm births can lead to a higher infant mortality rate.
The rally will be held from 10:00 a.m. to noon in front of Memorial Hospital, which is located on University Boulevard.